Scorpions look like miniature lobsters. They have pincers and a long up-curved tail with a poisonous stinger. Several species of scorpions live in the southwestern United States, but only the bark scorpion poses a threat to humans.
Severe reactions to the sting of the bark scorpion are usually only seen in children. Some of these reactions are paralysis, spasms, or trouble breathing. The bark scorpion is pale tan in color. It is ¾ to 1 ¼ inches long, not including the tail.
What to Look For:
- Pain in the area of the sting that gets worse in several minutes. Pain may travel up the limb that was stung.
- Mild swelling.
First Aid for Scorpion Stings:
- Call EMS.
- Wash the sting site with soap and rinse with water.
- Cover the area with a cloth and apply ice or a cold pack to the sting site to reduce pain. (Always protect the skin by wrapping ice or a cold pack in a thin cloth. Direct contact of extreme cold on the skin can cause tissue damage.)